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Pa. Senate Committees Pass Police Reform Bills, Will Go To Full Senate For Vote

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Police policy reform is another step closer in Pennsylvania.

State Senate committees have passed bills through to the floor, meaning Senators could vote on them this week.

These reforms were introduced long before protesters began calling for change last month.

Senator Jay Costa started working on police reform bills in the months following the death of Antwon Rose II.

antwon rose
(Photo Source: STK, Embrace Life/Facebook)

Protests following Rose's death called for changes.

For the last two years, those bills have not picked up much traction until now.

One of Costa's proposed bills passed out of the State Senate's Law and Justice committee on Monday night.

"Yesterday was a huge step in the direction of reform. I'm looking forward to a vote on the Senate floor later this week on these two measures, but our work is only partially complete. Through the summer, we will continue to work on the items that remain to be done. We'll keep up the conversations in our communities and remain engaged on this issue," Senator Costa said.

Senator Costa's Senate Bill 459 calls for municipal law enforcement agencies to adopt a use of force policy.

jay-costa
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

It also calls for agencies to train officers under those policies and would require departments to report uses of force to State Police.

Another bill that passed out of the same committee last night was Senate Bill 1205.

Bill 1205 would prohibit the use of chokeholds except when the use of deadly force is permitted.

This bill was sponsored by Senator Sharif Street out of Philadelphia.

Both bills passed the committee unanimously.

The bills will now go to the full State Senate for a vote.

If they pass, they will have to go to the state house and then to Governor Wolf's desk.

In talking with Senator Costa, he's confident that these bills can make it Governor Wolf's desk before the end of month and be signed into law.

The bills can be read entirely at the following links:

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